Borderline ServerFault question, but I'm programming some shell scripts, so I'm trying here first :)
Most *nixes have a command that will let you pipe/redirect output to the local clipboard/pasteboard, and retrieve from same. On OS X these commands are
I'm resurrecting this thread because I've been looking for the same kind of solution, and I've found one that works for me. It's a minor modification to a suggestion from OSX Daily.
In my case, I use Terminal on my local OSX machine to connect to a linux server via SSH. Like the OP, I wanted to be able to transfer small bits of text from terminal to my local clipboard, using only the keyboard.
The essence of the solution:
commandThatMakesOutput | ssh desktop pbcopy
When run in an ssh session to a remote computer, this command takes the output of commandThatMakesOutput (e.g. ls, pwd) and pipes the output to the clipboard of the local computer (the name or IP of "desktop"). In other words, it uses nested ssh: you're connected to the remote computer via one ssh session, you execute the command there, and the remote computer connects to your desktop via a different ssh session and puts the text to your clipboard.
It requires your desktop to be configured as an ssh server (which I leave to you and google). It's much easier if you've set up ssh keys to facilitate fast ssh usage, preferably using a per-session passphrase, or whatever your security needs require.
ls | ssh desktopIpAddress pbcopy pwd | ssh desktopIpAddress pbcopy
For convenience, I've created a bash file to shorten the text required after the pipe:
#!/bin/bash ssh desktop pbcopy
In my case, i'm using a specially named key
I saved it with the file name cb (my mnemonic (ClipBoard). Put the script somewhere in your path, make it executable and voila:
ls | cb